Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm?

Most abdominal aortic aneurysms produce no symptoms (they are asymptomatic) and are discovered incidentally when an imaging test of the abdomen (CT scan or ultrasound) is performed. They can also be detected by physical examination when the health care professional feels the abdomen and listens for a bruit, the sound made by turbulent blood flow.

Pain is the most common symptom when the aneurysm expands or ruptures. It often begins in the central abdomen and radiates to the back or flank. Other symptoms can occur depending upon where the aneurysm is located in the aorta and whether nearby structures are affected.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms can remain asymptomatic or produce minimal symptoms for years. However, a rapidly expanding abdominal aneurysm can cause sudden onset of severe, steady, and worsening middle abdominal and back or flank pain. Rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be catastrophic, even lethal, and is associated with abdominal distension, a pulsating abdominal mass, and shock due to massive blood loss.

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Comment from: hj, Female (Caregiver) Published: February 23

My husband, 55 years old, discovered his abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) with thrombus by accident when he did his blood and urine test. The albumin was in high 600s so they did a scan to check his kidneys and that was when they discovered it about a year ago. Today the doctor said he will be booking him for an open surgery which he said is safer due to the thrombus, He had no symptoms, thanks to the scan it was discovered, if not we would not have known about it. His mum had an aneurysm too in her stomach, she too discovered it by accident. She was supposed to have an operation in 2012 June, but died in her sleep in 2011 December. No post mortem was done so not sure of the cause, she also had high blood pressure. She was 86. His uncle (dad's brother) just had his AAA on stomach open surgery, he was close to 80, and he is fine thank goodness. My husband has high blood pressure and smokes still. He was asked to quit so hope he does, just waiting for the doctor to contact us now. Hoping that everything will go off well. His protein is still high at 318 but he does not drink enough water, so that too could be a major contributor for the albumin, as well as the pressure. Hope you are all fine.

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Comment from: Lucky 63, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 07

In January 2004 while going to the bathroom in a 7 watt night light I thought my urine in the bowl looked dark when I flushed. Next time I turned on the overhead and, it was very red. I called my doctor right away and he sent me to the hospital for a CT of my bladder. The results came quickly; a tumor in my bladder and an abdominal aortic aneurysm. A month later after sitting on pins and needles, surgery was performed by my vascular surgeon on Feb 6th, 2004 and the tumor in my bladder was taken care of on April 19th by my urologist. That was 11 years and 3 months ago. I volunteered for follow up studies that were yearly at 1st, then at 2 years and this year will be the 1st of a 3 year interval. Fate has once again stepped in. I was released today after 4 days of tests which started with a trip to the emergency room for chest pain. CT for blood clots disclosed my aortic aneurysm was growing from the repaired 3.8 cm. I also have a growth on my right kidney. Needless to say, tomorrow I am calling the necessary medical help.

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